If you have had a root canal on a back tooth it should be restored afterward with a crown or onlay. Teeth that have had root canals usually have relatively large amounts of supporting tooth structure missing and when not properly restored are at higher risk of fracture.

Back teeth experience greater chewing forces as compared to anterior teeth and do require more protection than a filling provides. Often the crowns or onlays can not only protect the teeth but can improve their appearance as well.

It is not normal to have ‘sensitive’ teeth. Often there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. If a particular tooth is sensitive to chewing or cold or sweets, this should be pointed out to the dentist at a check up appointment. If you are not sure which tooth is causing the sensitivity, a dentist can perform tests to detect the culprit.

An X-ray should be taken and even if nothing shows on a radiograph, tooth sensitivity can be caused by cracked tooth syndrome, tooth clenching or grinding . Your dentist can suggest treatment that can alleviate your symptoms after he diagnoses the cause

Sometimes choosing the right dentist can be a tricky proposition. All too often people tend to” judge a book by its cover” They like going to a dentist with a beautiful and modern high tech office. To be sure having equipment that functions and is up to date is important but it is not the primary feature of an excellent dentist.

To provide quality dentistry a dentist must stay up to date, but much of this is accomplished through continuing education. Equipment upgrades are required, but to achieve constantly excellent results, dentists must go the extra distance and most often this depends on them spending extra time in case planning and in delivering their dentistry.

Most excellent dentists take pride in the quality of their dentistry and must focus on the details that are required to deliver it. . High tech assistance can improve a dentist’s capabilities, but do not assure quality dental out comes.

As people age it is quite common for them to increasing experience dry mouth. Many senior citizens start developing a ‘new crop’ of cavities. I have especially noticed this among octogenarians.

To offset an increased likely hood of developing caries often dentists prescribe a prescription strength 1.1% NaFluoride brush on gel that can be brushed on teeth before bedtime. This can help protect caries prone teeth

If you engage in a regular sport activity it may be a good idea to have a custom mouth guard fabricated. Athletic mouth guards protect the teeth from the effects of accidental blows to the teeth. Injuries can occur even in so called non contact sports such as Basketball not only from a blow from an opposing player, but from a fall. A custom mouth guard worn by those engaging in sports will prevent this from occurring.

If you have recently had a dental restoration placed and it is bothering you, probably the first thing a dentist will check is the bite. If a bite is high on a restoration it can cause pain. Symptoms can take the form of sensitivity to cold hot or biting pressure. Some patients even can experience some pain in their masseter muscles. If you do have pain after a dental restoration do let your dentist know and it would be a good idea to have him check your bite. Do not wait for the bite to ‘settle in.

If a tooth becomes darker than it surrounding neighbors, it can be a sign that its pulp has become non vital. Often a radiograph shows a periapical area or rarification(a dark semicircular area at the apex of the root).

Even if there is no ‘area’ visible on a radiograph at the roots apex, this discoloration usually means that a minimum the pulp has either receded or become non vital. If you notice a darkening of one particular tooth it is a good idea to ask a dentist about

8 As we start the last quarter of the year, it may be a good time to remember that dental insurance benefits are a “use it or lose it” phenomenon. If you haven’t been to the dentist this year and would like to take advantage of your dental benefits, this would be a good time to arrange for an appointment.

If the dentist finds a problem, he will have time to precertify any treatment plan, prior to performing any treatment. This will allow a patient to see any out of pocket costs prior to going ahead with dental work

9 Most people know that a proper diet plays an important part in maintaining the health of their teeth, but most are unaware that acidity or our diet can affect the integrity of teeth.

Although excess sugar intake makes cavity formation more likely, it isthe metabolism of the sucrose by bacteria creates acid that ultimately breakdown our teeth’s enamel.

Sucking on sour hard sucking candies, whether they contain real or artificial sweeteners can increase the acidity directly around the teeth. Cavities form in part by acid breakdown of enamel. Once the enamel breaks down bacteria can ‘eat’ our dentin since it has a higher organic content than enamel

10 Although when patients complain of sensitivity to sweets it often means that they have a cavity, sometimes it indicates that the sweets are reaching unprotected portion of the dentin component of their teeth. Either a filling may be ‘leaky’ or an eroded surface is coming into contact with the sweets.

If you do have this symptom, it is worth mentioning to your dentist when you have a dental examination, so that he can determine the cause. Often the sensitivity disappears if its source can be discovered and an appropriate repair made.